chapter  10
Pages 11

RHETORIC IN the time of Quintilian had three aspects, the theoretical, the educational and the practical. It was an intellectual system, the object of much laborious thought, and, like the academic subjects of today, burdened with a voluminous ‘literature’; it was also an educational discipline, and finally it was still to some extent what it had been in origin, the weapon of the statesman and the advocate, the means of winning power and influencing one’s fellow-men. Quintilian was well qualified to deal with all these aspects. He was a thoroughly competent academic rhetorician, a worthy occupant of the professorial chair, and he was an eminent teacher and educationalist; he was not, and could hardly have been in his age, a political orator, but he was a highly successful pleader in the courts and fully alive to the factors that made for professional success. The three aspects of rhetoric are combined in the Institutio Oratoria, though the last is not very prominent, and in the main it is Quintilian the rhetorical theorist and Quintilian the teacher rather than Quintilian the barrister that is seen in this great work. His rhetorical theory will form the subject of this chapter and his educational theory of the chapter which follows.